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PSV v Sampdoria: Preview
Two sides enjoying fine starts to their domestic seasons go head to head when PSV Eindhoven host Sampdoria in their Europa League Group I opener.
PSV top the Eredivisie, level on 13 points with Ajax, having won four of their five games, while Sampdoria lie third in Serie A with two rounds of games played.
Samp striker Nicola Pozzi believes it will be an entertaining clash at the Philips Stadion, with both teams keen to start with a win. "The objective is get through the group, and to do that, it is always best to start off winning because otherwise when you slip behind it is always harder," he said.
"PSV are one of the strongest teams currently in the Eredivisie and I think that it will be very attractive. We will try to take advantage of any opportunities we have."
Pozzi, who struck twice in Saturday's 3-3 draw at Juventus, will partner Antonio Cassano in attack with Giampaolo Pazzini sidelined through a muscular injury.
Samp coach Domenico Di Carlo hopes his team can show the same determination displayed last weekend in Turin when they take on PSV. "My team showed great character against Juventus and that allowed us to take home a positive result," said Di Carlo.
"Considering we will play a game every three days, my players have to be smart and find the necessary maturity to deal with the pressure of playing in two competitions."
Samp will have to be at their very best if they are to defeat a PSV side that have won their last seven European home games. The Italians have struggled on their travels in Europe, losing their last three games while scoring just once and giving away eight goals.
PSV coach Fred Rutten will be without Bulgaria international Stanislav Manolev. The 29-year-old defender suffered a groin injury last week and has been ruled out for two weeks.
The good news for Rutten is that goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson has shaken off a right groin injury and will be included in the starting XI.
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